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2014 Division I Field Hockey

UConn victorious as old foes meet again

The championship match between the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University wasn’t just a showdown between two powerhouse Division I field hockey programs. It was also a rematch of two former conference rivals that had met 39 times over the history of their programs but had not faced each other on the field since 2012.

In that last meeting, the two founding members of the Big East Conference were battling for the Big East championship. Today, UConn competes in the American Athletic Conference; Syracuse is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The two no longer meet in the regular season.

The NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship, then, became an opportunity to relive an old rivalry.

Syracuse arrived at the final game with more to prove: It was ranked No. 4 in the nation, had never made an appearance in the NCAA championship game and was even looking to win its first national championship in a women’s sport. UConn, by comparison, entered as the defending national champion with a No. 3 ranking. It was also looking for its fourth field hockey national championship and was led by the winningest head coach in the sport, Nancy Stevens.

The Huskies scored on their first shot of the game when sophomore defender Anna Middendorf lobbed a shot toward the keeper, allowing Mckenzie Townsend to redirect the ball into the net. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Nina Klein prevented the Orange from scoring as she posted her ninth shutout of the season.

The 1-0 victory extended UConn’s advantage in the all-time series, 28-11-1.

“We’ve always had great respect for Syracuse,” Stevens said. “We’ve loved playing them every year in our conference. It’s such a spirited rivalry. It was really special to have a UConn-Syracuse rematch.”

 

The Results

CHAMPIONSHIP
UConn 1, Syracuse 0

SEMIFINALS
Syracuse 3, North Carolina 2 (2 ot, penalty strokes)
UConn 1, Albany (NY) 0

ELITE 89 HONOREE
Loren Shealy, North Carolina

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Chrissy Davidson, UConn
Nina Klein (goalkeeper), UConn
Anna Middendorf, UConn
Roisin Upton, UConn
Lies Lagerweij, Syracuse
Alyssa Manley, Syracuse
Kati Nearhouse, Syracuse
Paula Heuser, Albany
Amy Nicklin, Albany
Nina Notman, North Carolina
Samantha Travers, North Carolina

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